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Startup and Image loading times

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I purchased Affinity Photo and Designer for the Mac when they came out, and I've also done the same for Windows.


I've kept quiet for a good while as I realise the Affinity products are still young in development (whatever that means), but I'm beginning to wonder why the startup times are so slow, even launching Affinity Photo on Windows, either the latest official release or the latest Beta - Is 20+ Seconds, is that right?


I can only compare with all my other software, nothing takes this long to load. Photoshop CS6 as most know takes no more than a few seconds, but occupies more memory.


Is there something that is causing a bottle-neck, such as .Net framework (which as far as I'm aware is what is used)? But why just Affinity products? I'm sure I have loads of software using .Net, so what's up?


Even when Affinity Photo is open and I load a new image, whether it's a small image, or a large one, it tends to take the same length of time. This is on more than one PC/laptop, fresh installs to long time installs, One set of hardware to another. Even on SSD drives it both products are slow.


Don't get me wrong, I feel I've managed to switch over the main staple of things I'd do in Photoshop on a day-to-day basis and complete them in Affinity Photo, the same with Illustrator and Designer - they are good products, especially considering the price as a hobbyist.


But I just can't get my head around the sluggishness of startup times and loading images.


Can anyone shed a light on this?



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If you have lots of fonts installed, that can affect the startup speed. Also, the beta perform more checks than the release version at startup, so will be slower than the actual release version.


With regards to RAW loading speed, we're currently working on that, things are getting better, but there are still more improvements to be made.

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I've heard of the issues with fonts, but it's the same with the standard installed fonts on a new Windows 10 PC, I know because I've done this a fair amount lately, even just 3 days ago.

I don't edit RAW files at the moment, so this isn't to blame either.

I'm about to install a new laptop with Affinity products, and I don't doubt for one moment there will be any difference with this PC either.

It's about time it was sorted, it's a real turn off - it makes you feel like there is something up with you hardware its so sluggish.

I would have thought that one of the first things Serif would address is startup and image loading times before they start adding more fancy features. Stability and speed is more important than bell n' whistles, especially when the difference between it's contender is miles apart in the speed department.

After all the fanfare has died down it really feels like development has too, shame.


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You're comparing the established market leader, which has existed for 27 years, to our product which is 12 months old. Adobe have had years to optimise and improve their product, with huge teams and a massive budget. We're much newer, and much smaller. We work hard to produce good products, and we strive to make them the best they possibly can. Unfortunately we can't satisfy every customer every time. Sometimes people want new features, sometimes they want performance improvements - we do read all the comments, we do log all the problems, and we do care about making an excellent product.


Development isn't dying down, it's just getting started.



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Actually I find it quite OK that it opens a ~52MP (~57MB) RAW file from a Canon 5DsR in less than 15 seconds, much better than the production.

Both PC’s Win 11 x64 System with Intuos Pen & Touch 
PC1 ASUS ROG Strix - AMD Ryzen 9 6900X CPU @ 3.3GHz. 32GB RAM

- GPU 1: AMD Radeon integrated. GPU 2: NVIDIA RTX 3060, 6GB
PC2 HP Pavilion - 
Intel® Core™ i7-7700HQ CPU @ 2.80GHz (8 CPUs), 16GB RAM
 - GPU 1: Intel HD Graphics 630, GPU 2: NVIDIA GTX1050, 4GB

iPad (8th Gen) 2020


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Hi again,

It always comes down to this, some users have no problem, they don't complain, other do, but not enough of us complain - some of us are just so glad not to have to have a yearly subscription to deal with, and additionally pleased no doubt that we haven't had to shell out £600 for the privilege. All I can say though is that from my experience on running Affinity Photo on numerous PCs/laptops with various specs, Affinity Photo is slow to start and slow to load compared to the competition. The loading of images isn't that bad, but when you couple with it wanting to do a quick edit which may just be to re-size an image, you end up staring at the screen wondering what's going on under the hood to cause it to take so long.

The beta isn't any better obviously - that's why I'm here ;)

I realise as I've said previously, that it's not as "developed" as Photoshop for example, but I would have expected that after the few years Affinity products have been around that startup times would have improved.

Here is a random PC fresh install with:

Windows 10 64bit - all updates

Internet connection off

4th Gen Intel Core i3

Physical HD, 8GB Ram

Nvidia Geforce card

Default Fonts


(Nothing hot, but adequate for most tasks.)


Affinity Photo

Cold Start = 35 Seconds

Warm Start = 6 Seconds,

Loading an image when warm that is HD 1920 x 1080/ JPG / 230KB = 1.5 Seconds.

Loading an image when warm that is 4K 3840 x 2160/ JPG / 1.17MB = 2.4 Seconds.


Photoshop CS6

Cold Start = 16 Seconds

Warm Start = 3 Seconds

Loading an image when warm that is 1920 x 1080 / JPG / 230KB = Less than 1 Second.

Loading an image when warm that is 4K 3840 x 2160/ JPG / 1.17MB = 1 Second.


I could include benchmarks from other software, but you'll probably know the outcome anyway.

Since the release I would have expected some improvements in this area. Perhaps it was even slower on release, I don't recall, but it should definitely be quicker on startup you'd assume by now. Otherwise you would probably expect that there is a problem with something - is there?

After all the hype, has development slowed too?


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  • Staff
18 hours ago, JayH said:

I realise as I've said previously, that it's not as "developed" as Photoshop for example, but I would have expected that after the few years Affinity products have been around that startup times would have improved.

Hi JayH,
Welcome to Affinity Forums :)
The Affinity products were first launched on the Mac a couple years ago but the Windows versions are actually quite recent. Affinity Photo for Windows was launched on 8 December 2016 roughly just 8 months ago and as such it's not still fully optimized for all possible configurations that you can find running Windows OS's. Being an open platform it allows for an immense variation in hardware/software configs which makes extremely hard to ensure we get the most out of each system from the start without releasing it in the wild and proceed to optimize/fix issues reported by the users which is what we have been doing since then. Considering the size/resources we have available and the time that has passed since Photo's release on Windows i don't think we are doing that bad. Please bear with us while we work to improve Photo's performance on Windows. As @Mark Ingram said this is just getting started...

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I understand that the Affinity range of products are relatively new compared to the likes of Photoshop, release dates aside, these applications we are told have been in development for many years prior to release, just like most software. Loading times are a major polish to a piece of software - but Serif from passed experience do not appear to have a large development team so I'm willing to give these guys a break and see what happens. I just hope that they focus polish and bug fixing, and not extra features for the time being.


Joschi, nice spec PC, but it's not a fair comparison for the majority of us. If I had your specs and Affinity didn't start any quicker I'd be using Photoshop.

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Oh trust me, that is why I use Affinity. I tried the new Photoshop CC (before that I had CS4) and it took me 15-20 seconds (sometimes 5 seconds more, If I added some new brushes or fonts to PS and restart it). Photoshop may have a wide range of functionality, great variety for plugins and works great with many other softwares.


But it's so incredibly bloated. The day Photoshop added huge 3D-functionalities, was the day I realized how greedy Adobe became, because of their desire to be involved in every kind of software that are out in the graphic/design market. They would rather buy that company or create it for themselves and would love to steal customers in a really bad way. That is pure naivety to me. If I want to create something in 3D - I go to 3DS Max, Cinema 4D, Blender etc. and not Photoshop (now, I understand, If people would love to create fast 3D-Typography within PS - that would be okay. But beyond that....you know it!)


Just an example, why I love a big range of different graphic design softwares and alternatives and also use (now mainly) Affinity - even If there is a lot to do. Serif is doing a great job and I will give them also enough time to blossom out in the industry. I know I whine a lot about some missing functions I would love to have. But Serif can take all the time they want. That is a company I think it is really worth the money. I'm sure: If we give them enough time, they will for sure solve the loading time in AD and AP :)

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FWIW I had reason to go back and open PE. Having not used it since I got AP, which I bought on release day, I had forgotten just how sloooow PE was. AP beta much faster at loading and handling big files. I have a very poorly spec'd machine so the difference is exaggerated.

MS Creators update hasn't helped though!


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